Our fat-free, dolphin-safe Milwaukee events calendar is chock-full of things to do, but only a handful of events are worthy of the lofty honor of “Record Recommended” (patent pending). Here are our recommendations for April 8-14, 2019.
MONDAY, APRIL 8
Jeremy Enigk + Tomo Nakayama @ Shank Hall
When you have a chance to see the voice of Sunny Day Real Estate and The Fire Theft, you take it.
TUESDAY, APRIL 9
Tuesday Tunes: Allen Coté @ Kindred On K.K.
Milwaukee Record has joined forces with Kindred On K.K. to bring you “Tuesday Tunes.” The Tuesday evening performance series features eight weeks of music from some of the city’s favorite artists. There’s no cover for these shows, which all run from 7 to 9 p.m. This week’s show features multi-instrumentalist (and multi-band, including Lyric Advisory Board) Allen Coté. As always, Kindred’s kitchen and bar will offer their full menu, and their Tuesday night happy hour (including $2 oysters and $5 old fashioneds) will last all night.
Electric Six + DaveTV, The First Rule, Beaker @ Club Garibaldi
Detroit party-rockers Electric Six may be a long way from their Myspace-era hits like “Danger! High Voltage” and “Gay Bar,” but give them credit for sticking around and sticking to their guns. The band’s 2018 album Bride Of The Devil is filled with the same kind of over-the-top, slightly tongue-in-cheek disco-glam the group has been cranking out for 15 years.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10
LUXI + CHNNLL, Beach Static @ Cactus Club
Fans of LUXI’s extensive back catalog may have been taken aback upon hearing 2018’s Lost Letters (Of Seraphina). Though elements of her traditional glitchy synth-pop are still here, the addition of organic guitar, bass, and drums on several tracks puts this record in a hybrid stylistic space that’s difficult to pin down. “Patterns Apart” in particular leaves a deep emotional impression with its decidedly jazzy atmosphere, with LUXI’s smoky vocals swirling into and out of the foreground. Her keyboard hooks remain essential as well, especially in songs like “Fly Away” and “Stars Come Out,” terrific examples of how her economical sonic approach can move through a multitude of themes without ever feeling cluttered. Lost Letters is a major rethinking of her sound, but still quintessential LUXI.
THURSDAY, APRIL 11
Midwest Gaming Classic Official Pre-Party: Amanda Huff + The Zelda Routine, Subspace @ The Cooperage
Fact: The annual Midwest Gaming Classic rules. Fact: The annual Midwest Gaming Classic rules so much it needs a pre-party—a really, really good pre-party, featuring music from Amanda Huff and The Zelda Routine, visuals from Subspace, and games from Aftershock Retrogames. BE THERE.
FRIDAY, APRIL 12
Midwest Gaming Classic @ Wisconsin Center
In 2001, two guys started a small show “to celebrate the Atari Jaguar” at a Boy Scout Service Center that drew about 100 gaming enthusiasts. Since that unheralded outset, the event—which was later named Midwest Gaming Classic—has ballooned in popularity. The Classic made a big move from the Brookfield Sheraton to the downtown Milwaukee Wisconsin Center last year, and it returns there for 2019. What to expect at the weekend event? Music, special guests, cosplay, and, oh yeah, “50,000+ square feet of retro and modern home video game consoles, pinball machines, arcade video games, computers, table top gaming, crane games, collectible card games, air hockey, and that’s just the start!”
Milwaukee Psych Fest VII @ The Cooperage
Since 2013, Milwaukee musician Andrew Shelp has given the city a loud, fuzzed-out, and reverb-drenched gift every spring: Milwaukee Psych Fest. Returning for its seventh (!) year April 12 and 13 at The Cooperage, the psych-celebrating blowout will once again assemble a dizzying array of talent from around the globe. Want to lose yourself while listening to local acts like Brief Candles and Shelp’s own Moss Folk? You’ve got it. Want to hear groups hailing from the U.S., Italy, and even Japan? Milwaukee Psych Fest VII has you covered.
SATURDAY, APRIL 13
Owen @ X-Ray Arcade
Despite Milwaukee’s proximity to his hometown of Chicago, Mike Kinsella—of American Football, Cap’n Jazz, Joan Of Arc, and his Owen solo project—hasn’t played in the area in a long time. Just how long has it been? Let’s just say his last show was an abbreviated appearance at Onopa Brewing Company, which has been home to two other breweries in subsequent years. During the long hiatus from Milwaukee, American Football got back together and released a second full-length (with a third one on the way later this month) and Owen put out seven albums. Tonight, Kinsella’s 14-year absence from metro Milwaukee will come to an end.
Record Store Day @ various locations
What’s good for Record Store Day this year? Well, along with the usual good (Frank Black!), bad (Seven Mary Three?), and ugly (Dennis Quaid & The Sharks????) rereleases and exclusives, there are some local goodies to be had. Abby Jeanne and Saebra & Carlyle will release a split 7-inch record, available at Hi-Fi Cafe, Rush-Mor Records, Exclusive Company’s East Side and Greenfield locations, Luv Unlimited, and Bullseye Records. WMSE, meanwhile, will release a GGOOLLDD 7-inch, available at Acme Records & Music Emporium, Bullseye Records, The Exclusive Company (East Side location), and Rush-Mor Records.
The Empire Strips Back @ Riverside Theater
Of course this is a thing. How has this not always been a thing? A Star Wars burlesque parody called “The Empire Strips Back” is coming to the Riverside Theater. The show hails from a galaxy far, far away—a.k.a. Australia. Like Yoda once said to his troupe of burlesque dancers: Your clothes. You will not need them.
SUNDAY, APRIL 14
Milwaukee Day Showcase: Platinum Boys, Klassik, Joseph Huber, Lauryl Sulfate And Her Ladies Of Leisure, Kavon Cortez Jones @ The Cooperage
About a decade ago, a group of friends realized Milwaukee’s 414 area code had a striking resemblance to the numerals in April 14 (or 4/14) and decided to turn that coincidence into a full-blown local holiday. Since its unlikely outset, Milwaukee Day has resulted in an official mayoral proclamation, a ceremonial first pitch before a Brewers game, an abundance of civic-centered specials offered by area businesses, a wide-reaching hashtag, a cameo on Jeopardy!, and a holiday-themed beer. For our Milwaukee Day celebration, we’ve assembled an all-star cast of some of the city’s finest musicians. On top of the music (and poetry from host Kavon Cortez Jones), we’ll also have yard games on The Cooperage’s patio. BE THERE.
39th Annual WAMI Awards @ Turner Hall Ballroom
Who’s got WAMI fever?! WE ALL HAVE WAMI FEVER.